Let’s be honest — some online ads simply don’t work. At least we think that they don’t. Or better put, we judge them before knowing the real reason they don’t… Now, there are almost unlimited ways to reach your target audience on the internet: targeting people who search on Google with your search ad, capturing people’s attention with your promoted social media post, direct messaging on LinkedIn or creating a short video on Youtube. There are many channels and many types of ads that can use to target your potential customers.
But why the heck don’t they work for you? Many businesses have rapidly grown thanks to online advertising and yours hasn’t. What is it that makes your campaign inefficient?
First of all, be clear on the problem you are facing. What metrics say that your campaign is not working? Is it the ROI (return on investment — easily put, how many dollars are you making out of 1 dollar you invest in the ad), cost per lead (in case of lead generation campaigns) or number of people your campaign reached? When reporting on your marketing efforts, make sure to be as precise on the desired metrics as possible. “Thoughts” are the worst reporting tool.
Secondly, who is running your ads? Is it you who has access to all the important metrics and reporting or do you outsource ad management to someone else? If so, are they fully transparent on the process of a campaign setting? Do they let you “watch the chef while cooking”?
Let us be clear: this point is crucial. Online advertising is not a black box. It truly works and increases the ROI if done well. But if not, there is no positive ROI, just money thrown out of the window… What I am trying to say is, that there will be plenty of companies charging you for the ad management who are not truly willing to help you. As a result, your campaign ends up being inefficient.
Let’s say you are running the ads on your own and still suffering from lack of efficiency. We won’t let you down. We’ve prepared a few points which — when done well — will increase your ad efficiency.
There is nothing worse than targeting someone who is not interested in what you offer. Everything else might be done perfectly, but if the target audience is set inappropriately, nothing will save you (and your wallet). In marketing theory, knowing your target audience is the very key. For your online marketing efforts, there is no difference! All in all, when running your ads (on any channel), make sure to select the target audience that equals your ideal customer profile.
Another cause of an ad being inefficient is to have an audience that is too broad. Your marketing budget may not be high — which is completely fine — therefore, be very selective and specify the audience to one that is narrow rather than broad.
To give you an example, when targeting potential house buyers, go for specific ZIP codes or nearby cities where the majority of the demand can be generated. If you know that your audience is between 30 and 50 years old, narrow it down! These are great incentives that help you keep your audience as relevant as it gets.
As said, there are dozens of channels you can use to reach your audience. But ask yourself a question: Where is your audience? Where do they spend time? How and where do they want to engage with you?
Having thousands of options does not mean you need to use all of them. On the contrary, being selective is a much better approach. Put your customer at the center of your activities and, trust me, your efforts will pay off!
I know, I know… You want to see an example of what I mean. Here you are: Let’s stick with our real estate business for now. Your audience is people living nearby, let’s say, San Francisco, between the ages of 30 and 55 years old. You recently heard that Instagram and Tik Tok are the new channels to use! You feel excited about using new social media platforms to reach your audience, don’t you? But is your audience on these channels? Let me answer that question: they probably aren’t. Most likely, these people will engage with you on Facebook, Google or Youtube. Therefore, choose the channels wisely and ALWAYS think of your audience first. Don’t follow the hype.
I don’t mean replacing English with Spanish. What I have in mind is the whole message, the content the user sees — be it video, headline, description or a picture. Remember that choosing the right channel according to your target audience is just the beginning. The users don’t care how far you’ve come to target him or her in the most precise way! What they care about (and what they interact with) is the content — your ad. Make sure to work with your USP (unique selling points — things that differentiate you from the competition) and the desire your target audience has. Empathize with your audience, combine their values and desires with your unique message and I promise you won’t lose this battle!
We’ve covered the most important factors. But what if these are done well and you still can not reach your goals? Maybe you are not really trying to. By that I mean literally trying — TESTING what works best. AB testing, as marketers call it, is a simple idea of testing 2 or more things and seeing what brings better results.
I may have forgotten to say that online marketing offers you the ability to track practically everything! Having this said, seeing which one of your messages (be it two different pictures) or your channels works best if totally feasible.
In order to get the best results, I recommend running AB tests for every campaign you start! Always work on optimising and improving your results.
Sometimes your ad just gets exhausted! There is even a term for it: ad fatigue. This happens after your ad has been efficient for some period of time, but happens to decrease its efficiency rapidly as time flies. The reason is pretty obvious. As you run your ad, targeting a certain audience, more and more people see it. Your target audience is limited, so you may reach a point where as you invest more, you only increase the frequency, but do not reach more people! Simply put, you reach a level where you invest in making the people who already saw your ad see it more times.
See the graph below that shows what I have in mind:
What should you do when your ad reaches this point and starts to get exhausted? Change something! Be it the message (content), channel or targeting. You may want to make your audience more broad as this exhaustion occurs due to a narrow audience. Changing something will start a new loop in which your campaign will be efficient again.
The whole time, we are speaking about running your ads across multiple channels (Facebook, Instagram, Google, …) which is not always intuitive. When setting up your campaign, you might have missed something that badly determines your campaign and, thus, brings you bad results! There can be a million things that can go wrong — starting from the campaign objective to the placement you choose.
There are hundreds of metrics you can measure today. That's the biggest advantage, as well as, disadvantage of digital marketing.
The truth is you can measure almost anything. You can build a detailed report with real time data, refresh and make those business decisions based on precise data, visualize insights in all those bar charts, funnels, pie charts, cohorts, heat maps, numbers, percentages, etc. That's what the theory is about.
And I partially agree with that, but the reality may be a bit different. Yes, this is important for large companies that, thanks to comprehensive measurements and reports, can optimize their processes and save a significant amount of money.
However, at the SMB level, the situation is quite different. You probably don't have an IT department full of specialists and data analysts who are able to invest hundreds of hours to set up your data platform, connect dozens of data sources, transform the given data and from that, build strong reports. Also, you probably don't deal with a billion dollars in revenue, so sophisticated analytics can be counterproductive because you don't have enough quality and precise data to optimize individual processes and earn a significant savings.
I'm not trying to say that you should completely ignore data analytics. Rather, it is about finding the right balance between not getting overwhelmed with data and gaining valuable insights that can help your business.
In this article, I’ll cover the most important metrics that actually give you valuable insights into your business and online marketing efforts. At the same time, I will highlight the metrics that are less effective and easy to misinterpret.
Klipfolio, an analytics tool, says: Marketing Metrics are measurable values used by marketing teams to demonstrate the effectiveness of campaigns across all marketing channels.
Sounds a bit complicated, but in other words, marketing metrics are numbers that tell you how effective your marketing efforts are. You set a goal, and your metrics tell you, whether you have achieved it or not. Based on this you can make a change and try a different approach.
Example: My goal is to get 100 website visits per 50 USD invested in Facebook ads. My metric in this case is Clicks. Two scenarios could take place:
Metrics can tell you, how effective your efforts are and help you to make changes before you spend hundreds of dollars.
Digital marketing is unpredictable, and a strategy that worked well the last couple of months could eventually become less effective or stop working entirely. Metrics tell you immediately if your efforts are paying off.
Setting the wrong goals and misinterpreting engagement metrics is pretty rife. Let's check out some common scenarios. Maybe you will even spot some of your own mistakes.
You probably wouldn't speak English in Portugal. The same principle applies when it comes to social media. Every platform works in a slightly different way, has a different user base, and people behave differently. Your message shouldn't be the same for all platforms. We wrote an article about demographics and the specifics of individual social media networks, so make sure you read it to understand how all those platforms work and what makes each one different.
Tip: You don't have to be a marketing PRO to master campaigns across multiple channels. Try tools like groost that simplify this process.
I'm not saying that likes are not important. But in and of itself, they mean nothing. Nowadays, it is possible to buy likes for posts or a page for a few dollars, but it doesn't help your business at all. It usually does the opposite. It is necessary to look at the number of likes in context of the given situation.
You can measure almost anything you can think of and probably much more. I understand the allure of this idea, because in the beginning it sounds amazing…the theory about having precise real time data on a beautiful dashboard... but reality is usually different. In most cases, you can end up with an over-complex dashboard where you could easily get lost. It takes a great deal of time and energy to make this work.
The extreme opposite of measuring everything is measuring nothing. With the vast amount of information around us, it's understandable that one would just want to ignore everything. But with this approach, you are probably losing your money and throwing its potential out of the window. You can't tell if your spending on social media advertising is effective or if you are losing money, if you're not analyzing what is working vs. what is not. You don't need a complex dashboard with many metrics to keep proper tabs on this.
You know it already, there are hundreds of metrics out there. But you should focus on those that are most important for you and your business. From our perspective, these are the ones which you should be keeping track of:
Reach tells you, how many people were able to see your content. It doesn't mean real views, rather it refers to potential views. If someone with 1,000 followers retweets your tweet, your reach increases by those 1,000 different people, but not every single one of those people may see it.
A higher reach is better, but if you don't get enough leads or engagement, something could be wrong.
This metric tells you, how many direct contacts you got. A lead is a person or even a company that is ready for a follow-up. This person has usually reached a stage where they are ready to become your customer.
Engagement measures the amount of likes, shares and comments your content or ad received. This metric tells you, how much your content is resonating with your followers. It's an important metric to check when optimizing your content strategy.
The engagement rate is influenced by many factors like platform, number of followers, industry, time of posting, etc.
Tip: See our article on What to Expect from Social Media.
This metric is an exact number of how many people targeted, eventually became paying customers. Remember, that this isn't just about this exact number. It has to be compared with the Conversion Rate, which is a percentage metric that shows you a ratio between visitors and converted customers.
Conversion rate may vary across industries and required action.
Tip: See our article on What to Expect from Social Media.
This is a monetary metric telling you, how much revenue your ad has generated. At the end of the day, this is what counts.
ROI demonstrates how your marketing time, energy and money spent are contributing to your company growth. You always have to know how much money you spent on advertising and how much money it has brought. It tells you, if and how effective your advertising efforts are.
ROI (%) = (income/spend)*100
Your ROI should always be higher than 100%, otherwise a given strategy was ultimately, a waste of money.
Well, now you should understand the basics of Social Media Metrics. But the most important thing to understand is how to implement metrics in real-life scenarios. These are 4 steps to successfully start your measurements.
In the beginning, find some time to write down your goals. All social media platforms could be used in many ways. What do you want to accomplish? The more specific you can be, the better.
Here is a list of examples to help you brainstorm:
Tip: We made an article about defining goals, where you can read all about the process behind it.
The next step is to understand which metrics to use, to see if you are achieving your goals or not. This process is quite easy. Basically you are trying to find those numbers, so you can recognize how effective your efforts are. Your goal should fit into the following categories:
Awareness – Use metrics like volume, reach, exposure, and amplification. How far is your message spreading?
Engagement – Look for metrics around retweets, comments, replies, and participants. How many people are participating, how often are they participating, and in what forms are they participating?
Traffic – Track URL shares, clicks and conversions. Are people moving through social media to your external site and what do they do once they’re on your site?
Advocates and fans – Track contributors and influencers. Who is participating and what kind of impact do they have?
Share of voice – Track your volume relative to your closest competitors. How much of the overall conversation around your industry or product category is about your brand?
Social media platforms usually do provide some basic analytics. For most cases it's enough, so if you're new to analytics, start small. In our case, we built groost. analytics right inside the app.
Tip: If you want to see groost in action, sign up here for free.
Keep in mind that social media interactions happen in real time. Look for a tool that allows you to access data immediately, without delay. You can't afford to wait weeks or even days for a report. Having real time data allows you to react and make quick changes, in order to stay effective.
To make all previous steps valuable, take a data-based action. Don't forget to see data in a wider context and compare it with industry benchmarks.
These questions will help you optimize your social media analytics process.
Facebook Groups are one of the basic components of Facebook. You are probably even a member of some of them.
It's a place where people with the same interests can connect online. The basic principle is that it is an online place for people to discuss, share experiences and express their opinions and attitudes. It also allows people to organize events, share photos, videos, or broadcast live videos.
Any Facebook user can create a group and its operation is completely free. Each user can be a member of up to 6,000 groups at the same time.
Unlike FB Pages, groups can be closed, and while the Page serves primarily for brand presentation, groups are focused on users and their activity in the community.
Public groups are the ones anyone can find and join. On the other hand, Closed Groups can be found, but their content is hidden and the membership must be approved by its moderator or administrator. This is a great tool to control who wants to join the community and thus control the membership. The highest level of privacy is offered by the Secret group. You cannot view or search those on Facebook. Members of these groups are directly invited by administrators or other members.
Being active on social networks pays off in the long run. Customers expect you to be active. It is a sign that your business is performing well so they can rely on your services and products.
If you think about accurate presence in digital space, it often counts number of social media profiles. I think you would agree that communicating and publishing content on social media can be a bit time consuming…or a lot.
This activity is very important, but can be done automatically. The right tools will help you publish posts in just a few clicks. Moreover, at the right time, because within each social network there are different and more effective times in which to contribute to different target groups.
There are hundreds of tools available on the market that offer different features in different price ranges. This article is a selection of several proven applications to help you.
A well-known and easy to use tool for scheduling your social media posts. This should be your starting point for these kinds of apps. Buffer allows you to connect all major accounts and it’s manageable from your smartphone.
Free plan: 3 social accounts, 10 scheduled posts, 1 user.
Pricing: from $15/ month
When it comes to scheduling posts and getting permission to publish, Kontentino is the tool you need.
Free plan: NO
Pricing: from $54/month
An all-in one marketing platform. It offers auto-scheduling so Hootsuite automatically picks the right time to post. It even supports the import of hundreds of social media posts at once, in CSV format. With an easy-to-use mobile app, you can manage your content and scheduling on the go.
Free plan: 3 social accounts, 30 scheduled posts, 1 user
Pricing: from $19/month
If you are focused on Instagram, Planoly should be in your choice. This mobile app will allow you to visually plan your feed, schedule posts and even add stories. You can reply to your comments directly from Planoly and analyze all data.
With CoSchedule you can organize your blog and social media content in one place. Editorial calendar in CoSchedule has a great UI, where you can plan posts by drag and drop.
The former Schedugram is now Sked and is a tool for scheduling and automated adding Instagram Stories. In addition to scheduling Stories, Sked also offers Visual Planning, so you can view the wall and see what it looks like without having to add individual posts.
Free plan: NO
Pricing: from $25/month
The biggest advantage of Postify is that it is free. Only when you need to connect 15 accounts or more do you have to pay $9.99 per month. Although, Postify is not the most visually app-friendly application, it does its job and this makes it a very good tool.
Free plan: Yes
Pricing: from $9.99/month
Probably the best Instagram automation tool. It also offers the ability to publish to other platforms, but focuses on Instagram the most. It offers a mobile app that captures all setup and publishing.
Free plan: 1 account per platform, 30 scheduled posts, 1 user.
Pricing: from $9/month
Even Facebook itself offers a feature to schedule your posts. Just create a post in Publishing Tools, select Schedule and pick a date. It is that easy. There's only a small problem, because it doesn't allow you to publish a post into multiple social media profiles. But still, scheduling multiple posts, as opposed to one per day, can still be an excellent time-saver.
Free plan: unlimited
If you are focused on Twitter, TweetDeck could help you with scheduling your posts. It is an app directly from Twitter. It has some basic features, but it is easy to use.
Free plan: unlimited
One of the main problems of real estate agents, is getting listings. To make it work, you shouldn’t just focus on your website. Social media and the online world, overall, could be a marvelous extension of the brand you present yourself as offline. If you take advantage of its options, you’ll reach more people, build trust and most importantly - sell.
Here are a few things you should know about social media marketing for real estate.
Have you ever wondered if the journey of your customer is trackable or even viewable? I have good news for you – it is. You can – in many cases – track how many people know about your business, how many of them consider purchasing your goods and, of course, how many already bought and referred your product to a friend. Being able to view the customer journey, optimise its steps and analyze your efforts is crucial for any kind of business. Trust me, the size does not matter (in this case). Every business should do it.
Marketing funnel is a term that resonates with the majority of marketers. They tend to use this model to illustrate the customer journey – from brand discovery to purchase. As stated, measuring every step of the funnel brings you a much better overview of your efforts and, thus, a higher return on investment, which is your goal, isn't it? The more you can get out of every stage of your customer's journey, the better the results are in terms of number count or revenue.
Let's say your customer journey has three main phases:
Please note that in this case we don't cover the scenarios that happen after the purchase is made (retention funnel).
Each stage represents a different behaviour stage of your potential customer. Say she has a problem which she is able to name. She begins to search for a solution – which you offer with your product or service. As soon as she discovers your business – among others – offers the solution she is already in the awareness stage.
Your presentation, product, its price and other factors determine whether she will move further on the journey. The consideration stage, needless to say, is a phase in which a potential customer already considers your product, is comparing it to your competitors and is aware of its pros and cons.
Decision. That's the phase we aim for. We want her to buy our product, right? That's when a decision is made. In this stage, your potential customer has already conducted the research, has chosen you over your competitors and is happy to buy what you have to offer.
We just described (in a very simple way) what a customer journey can look like. Sometimes it takes weeks to guide her through all stages of the journey, sometimes it is a matter of minutes. Imagine yourself buying a coffee in the city center. You probably don't do any thorough research, but you certainly look for coffee quality and price. You don't spend days comparing the product to other cafés or bars. You make the decision according to a few key factors. Your journey is fast and your decision is made pretty quickly. But it does not mean the café owner should not pay attention to the key factors, like what the café window looks like, or if their prices are reasonable, as it influences the customer's journey.
The customer journey can easily be viewed as a funnel. Therefore, marketers use it to analyze their efforts. To explain the basic idea behind the marketing funnel, let's use the widely-known model AIDA which stands for attention, interest, desire and action. Each of these phases represent a stage in which you might find your customers.
Obviously, your ultimate goal is to guide them through the stages without friction and in the shortest time possible.
Let us look at an example of a basic marketing funnel:
People obviously start at the top – marketers call it the top funnel. This represents the awareness stage. As customers move further in the funnel, they know more about you and your offer and start, as well as continue to consider it more and more.
Here is what a perfect marketing funnel would look like:
This would mean that everyone who discovers your product will decide to purchase. Going back to our example, 100% of the people who enter your café will buy a coffee. Of course, that's a seller's utopia. In an ideal world, this would work, not in the real one.
Your task is to carefully measure your funnel and optimize its steps.
Let's finally give a more concrete example of what a marketing funnel can look like in your case. Say you run a real estate business, and aim to attract potential house buyers with your website. That's also where you generate leads that you can then convert. Your main channels would be:
You would try to attract as many people as possible with your marketing budget and lead them to your website to show all the products or services you have. After they land on the website, ideally you want them to fill out a form, in case, they are interested in a particular offer. As soon as they do so, you connect with them via phone or email and find out whether their interest can lead to a conversion.
This is what your funnel would look like:
Let's do some math now. Say your marketing efforts help you reach 10,000 people with your ad. 3% of them interact with your ad and visit your website. That would mean you have 300 people on your website, right?
How many of these people are you able to convert into leads? That depends on how your website attracts its users and how juicy your offer is, doesn't it? Let's say you have a 10% conversion rate (10% of website visitors convert into leads). In this case, you would have 30 leads waiting to be contacted.
How many of them can you convert into sales? Again, factors like your response time, will play their role now. If you made it to 50%, you just made 15 sales. Now go back and think about what can be improved...
You can see that there are more factors that influence the efficiency of your funnel (and your efforts). One bit of advice would be: measure each step of the funnel, focus on the customer and do your best to improve the areas where it falters!
Going back to our example, simply by making your ad more appealing, you can increase your outcome from 3% to 6% which (if other metrics don't change) make 30 sales at the end of the day! Improve your website from 10% conversion rate to 15% and you almost hit the sky… You know where I am heading, right?
You may be wondering where you can get all of this data? Tools like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager or our own app that simplifies the process of ad management, can give you great insights into how many people you reached, how many of them interacted with your content, how many made it to the website and finally, how many were converted into leads. There is a plethora of ways to measure your marketing funnel – the customer journey. Even a piece of paper and good data sources can create miracles…
One thing is for sure: if you don't measure your efforts carefully, you may be investing money and energy into something which does not bring you results at all.
We’re all used to connecting the term ‘brand' with relationships to companies and products. However, that’s not what we’re going to talk about right now. A personal brand is kind of like a stamp that defines your persona and how people see it. In the past, personal branding used to be only about business cards, logos and websites. Today, it’s much more diverse. (Although websites are still useful for anyone building their brand and if you'd like to know more, you can read about this topic here.) Anyone who has access to the internet and social media can showcase themselves as an expert, build an audience, and attract clients that might be interested in their business. It’s a connection between how you see yourself, how you communicate with others and how they see you. Now, where do you start and how do you build a brand for yourself?